GENERAL CHIT CHAT (inc Buy & Sell) Favourite Tools (for RC work)

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    • #2292

      As the name says, if you have a tool that is innovative (old or new) for use in the RC hobby here is the place to let everyone know about it.

    • #2295

      In the RC world I think this will become my new favourite tool, well maybe after the Tevo Tornado 3D printer.

      Whilst having a bit of a chat with Col @ Lauderdale yesterday he mentioned that he had recently purchased a Vinyl cutter for doing his sail numbers & logo’s etc and that the said machine was currently on special at one of the local haberdashery shops for $299.00.

      Given the amount of money I spend in a year having my favourite signage shop produce boat names/ plane names, logo’s etc I quickly figured this was a pretty good deal.

      After doing copious amounts of research on line overnight I headed off to Spotlight this morning & laid my money down.

      The instructions left a bit to be desired (as they often do) but the Brother DC200 Design N Cut performs well and is actually quite easy to use after you throw away the instructions and watch a couple of the after-market videos on YouTube.

      A couple of the features I really like is that although there are only 20 built in fonts in the editing software Brother have developed (and posted on line for free) a font converter that will convert virtually any font installed on your PC for use with the DC200. Over the years I have installed numerous custom fonts on the PC and all that I have tested so far have converted fine. Another nice feature is that the converted fonts are still fully scalable.

      The other nice feature is that the design screen is calibrated so you only need to cut your vinyl slightly larger that your design and then position it on the cutting sheet in the same position as you see on the screen which equals very little waste.  I am only using craft vinyl (same as used to cover school books) and the machine cuts it perfectly and much faster than me with a pair of scissors.

      Only early days yet but I’m suitably impressed.

      The machine


      The Design Software


      My first attempt


      Illusion is an imported font @90pt & LRYC is a built in font @ 20pt (its very small & fiddly but came out perfect).

    • #2297

      It’s a great machine alright and yes the instructions were a bit ordinary. I was cautious at first as there was some negative comment online (Amazon site), particularly with the setup.  After I got it home and read everything I deduced that most people’s problems with the machine came from not being able to connect it to their network and that this was because some routers have two separate WiFi networks (one slow/one fast) your computer/phone/tablet will automatically connect to one of those and work just fine however the Brother DC200 setup cannot do this as it’s network is locked in at the setup stage.

      After figuring this out I had no problems getting it up and running and it all worked perfectly.

      Have not used the font converter however I have used Adobe Illustrator to design vector graphics and uploaded these to the cloud design site, made the cut file there and then downloaded and sent them to the machine. That worked great and I was very pleased as there is absolutely no limit to what you can do with this tool. Only limit is the size of the 12” x 12” cutting mat.

      Your boat names look great Pred and I’ll post some reply pics when I have a completed sail.


    • #2332


      I shouldn’t read your posts!

      I also have been looking into buying a vinyl cutter, but was turned off by the availability of spares etc.

      Didn’t realise that Spotlight sold them until your post. But by the time I read this it was Christmas eve and didn’t feel like driving into town, so onto the Spotlight online store.

      They came up as low stock online, so I purchased one as the postage was only $8.99 and I was in no real hurry and I could wait a week or so, but to my surprise it turned up by Aust Post on Friday!

      Hooked it up to the network, all I had to try it was some sticky back Dacron, so tried it on this and it worked a treat.

      Going to be good for cutting deck patches for the IOM, sail reinforcement and also vinyl cutting.


      • #2334

        Ah Gerald, like me you just love technology, and can’t pass up a bargain.

    • #2333

      As advertised, here is the first DF95 sail with all reinforcing patches, logos and numbering cut using the Brother DC200.

      Pretty Happy with it.

      DF95 Black Sails

      • #2335

        Looking good Col, but what is it with all these black sails?

        The Sydney to Hobart was full of them also.

    • #2336

      Black is the new Red mate, and it’s faster!!

    • #2353

      I highly doubt it!!  “Bad boy” black may well help you blend in to the dark banks at the Duck, so the rest of us will have to help you stay honest.

    • #2354

      Curses! I’ve been spotted!!


    • #2355

      The sails look great.

      • #2356

        Maybe all these Black sails need nice big White Skull & Crossbones on them to help with visibility.

    • #2358

      How about the addition of a large hot pink wind indicator on each boat with black sails??

    • #2359

      You and your bloody wind indicator Pete!

      Thats it! I’m going to make one for you as you seem obsessed, (possessed?) by them. 😈

      A skull and crossbones! Now there’s an idea!

      Take no prisoners !!!

      I like it. 👍

    • #2370

      Nah, I will just look at your wind indicator each time you lap me!!


    • #2378

      With regard to the Brother Design n Print Vinyl cutter, I found this handy hint online, tried it out today and it works a treat.

      A lot of materials stick too well to the cutter mat and when you remove them often backing material remains which creates an uneven cutting surface and reduces the tackiness until eventually your material won’t stay in place.

      The trick is to clean the surface with “Wet Ones” but you must use the #18 Antibacterial hand & face wipes and definitely NOT baby wipes (which contain baby oil which destroys the tackiness).

      The antibacterial wipes quickly & easily remove all the debris from the cutting mat WITHOUT destroying the tacky surface, just clean & let dry and the tackiness returns.

      There are numerous other suggestions online regarding what to clean your cutting mats with but most state that after cleaning all the tackiness is gone and you need to re tack with glue stick or similar.

      I have only cleaned my mat twice so far but there is little or no difference to the tackiness using the antibacterial “Wet Ones” hand & face wipes.

      Will update if anything changes down the track.

    • #2379

      Excellent work Pred, will get some on my next shopping venture. I too had some vinyl backing sheet stick to the mat and was considering removing all the sticky stuff then redoing with spay tacky stuff that I have seen in Bunnings. Will give the wipes a go first now though.

    • #2431

      I HAVE BEEN USING THE BABY WIPES FOR YEARS  and can recommend  it  to one an all  and as pred said……. it destroys the tackiness  and leaves my widdle butt shiny….. just like a new butt but better

      • #2432

        Baby wipes are fine for your shiny butt, but NO GOOD for cleaning the Vinyl Cutter cutting mat as they contain oil which destroys the tack.

        • #2433

          Wiped my mat this morning with the recommended wipes and it worked very well. 👍

    • #3635

        Could anyone with this handy tool tell me if you could cut a 6mm strip to make a pin stripe?

        • #3636

          Yes Capt’n you can cut almost any shape with it. Its what I do all the plane & boat names, sail numbers etc, however for pinstripe its easier to go to an automotive shop & just buy a roll of it in whatever width you need.

        • #3638

          Capt’n I cut all my pin strips  I lay the length of sticky side tape on glass  the with a new blade cut the required width  I use a metal ruler about 4ft long

          • #3639

            Yes Kermit, that will work as well, Glass is handy for cutting things on, I have a large panel that I used to cut ripstop sails out on.  The cutting worked fine, the sails not so well as ripstop nylon stretches every way except the way you want.

      • #3640

          Yes predator I got a roll from auto store but it’s glossy and I would rather a flat black as it would look better

          • #3649

            Well if you have some matt black adhesive vinyl I can certainly cut some for you but I’m limited to 300mm length max.

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